Navigation Links
U.S. Kids Not Getting Needed Health Care
Date:10/10/2007

Report finds youngsters worse off than adults; biggest gaps found in preventive care

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Kids in the United States aren't getting the health care they need, especially in the area of prevention, a new study shows.

"Children in the U.S. receive only 46 percent of the care that they should be getting, so they receive worse care than adults in this country, who get 55 percent of needed care," said study author Dr. Rita Mangione-Smith, a researcher at Seattle Children's Hospital Research Institute and an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle.

"This is a real wake-up call for the American public," added study senior author Elizabeth McGlynn, associate director of Rand Health. "It's easy to be complacent when you don't look at things, but we've shown that care for kids is way below what [we] would hope to see, and I hope that the attention that we can bring to bear from this study will cause us to take action that can improve care for kids today. We will, as a country, will be better off if we take serious action."

Both Smith and McGlynn spoke at a teleconference on Wednesday to announce the results.

The findings, which are in the Oct. 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, come on the heels of a presidential veto of the SCHIP bill, which would provide health-care coverage to millions of additional children in this country.

"[The study] is just one more reason why the veto should be overridden," said Dr. Lisa Simpson, director of the Child Policy Research Center at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. "The study clearly shows that quality of care for children far too often falls short of what it could be. And, particularly for preventive care, what are the barriers to preventive care? Not having health insurance is a well-documented barrier."

"And the bill contains some of the most important provisions for quality health care for children in the history of this country," Simpson added.

Information on the quality and safety of adult health-care in the United States has been well-documented, but information on children's health care has been scant, the study authors stated.

Smith and her colleagues analyzed outpatient medical records for 1,536 children in 12 U.S. metropolitan areas to see how actual care compared with 175 quality indicators.

On average, children in the study received 46.5 percent of the indicated care; 67.6 percent of the indicated care for acute medical problems, 53.4 percent of indicated care for chronic medical conditions, and 40.7 percent of the indicated preventive care.

Quality varied according to the clinical area, ranging from 92 percent adherence for respiratory tract infections to only 34.5 percent for preventive services for teens.

Fewer than 50 percent of children who reached 2 years of age during the study period were fully immunized.

Only 31 percent of children aged 3 to 6 had their weight measured at their annual check-up. "How do we catch a child at risk for obesity if we don't look?" Smith said. "How do we prevent complications if we don't follow weight?"

Similarly, only 19 percent of seriously ill infants had the right lab tests, only 44 percent of those with asthma were on the right medication, and only 38 percent of children were appropriately screened for anemia in the first two years of life.

And these results were a best-case scenario. "The majority of these children were white, middle- to upper middle-class with private health insurance," Smith said. "Most people assume they're getting excellent health care, and, unfortunately, they're not."

Gaps in preventive care were among the most glaring.

"As a pediatrician, I was shocked by some of our findings, especially those related to preventive care and screening," Smith said. "Prevention is the bulk of what we do. I even re-screened the charts, because I couldn't believe the results."

Why are these deficits happening?

Partly because of the structure of the health-care system, which pressures physicians to see as many patients as possible in a short period of time, Smith suggested. "In a lot of cases, the annual check-up gets a 10-minute slot on a doctor's schedule," she said. "How can we accomplish all we are supposed to do and give parents time to voice their concerns?"

Physicians also need to be trained better in preventive care. Right now, the emphasis is on dealing with acute illness.

Parents, too, have a role to play. "Parents need to be quite proactive with their child's health care," Smith said.

And perhaps a checklist for doctors might improve matters.

"We're human, just like airplane pilots are human, and having that tool would go a long way to solving this problem," Smith said.

But much of the solution lies with policymakers.

"Our study shows that health-care quality is an issue in and of itself apart from the access problem, which is an equally important but separate problem," Smith said. "People who are promoting better access to care for children through the SCHIP bill recognize this needs to go hand in hand with efforts to assess and improve quality of care."

More information

For more on this issue, visit the National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality.



SOURCES: Oct. 10, 2007, teleconference with Elizabeth A. McGlynn, Ph.D., associate director, Rand Health, and Rita Mangione-Smith, M.D., researcher, Seattle Children's Hospital Research Institute, and associate professor, pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle; Lisa Simpson, M.B., director, Child Policy Research Center, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and professor, pediatrics, University of Cincinnati; Oct. 11, 2007, New England Journal of Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. UK children getting high on binge drinking
2. Heart Surgery Is Getting Safer for the Old
3. Kids not getting enough Physical Exercise
4. Women not Getting Screened Adequately
5. Kids Not Getting Enough Fiber
6. Teens and women are more at risk of getting sunburned
7. Getting A Suntan The Easy Way
8. Addicted To Getting Tanned?!
9. Smokers Face The Risk Of Getting Diabetes
10. AIDS Virus getting mutated for good
11. Plump Infants Getting Obese Later In Life In More Cases
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun Run brought out many kids ... sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is aimed at getting kids excited ... all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which is all about having fun ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the Mountains ... possible to save lost souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to ... dedicated teacher of the Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches a ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest growing franchisors ... a flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway 190, in January ... Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows it to serve ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Asante, a nationally recognized health system in ... existing home health joint venture through an agreement, effective October 1, 2017, to ... home health company with Asante, delivering clinically integrated care, for the past eight ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Leading pediatric oncology experts ... Washington, D.C., for the 49th Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology ... of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National, and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... 11, 2017  True Health, a leader in ... effort during National Breast Cancer Awareness month to ... Research recently ... that more than 10 million American women are ... BRCA1 or BRCA2 and have not had testing. These ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... Oct. 6, 2017   Provista, a proven ... $100 billion in purchasing power, today announced a new ... The Newsroom is the online home for ... infographics, expert bios, news releases, slideshows and events. ... a wealth of resources at their fingertips, viewers can ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... Oct. 4, 2017 OBP Medical ... illuminating medical devices, today announced regulatory approval from ... Agency (or Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária (ANVISA)) ... cordless surgical retractor with integrated LED light source ... illumination and exposure of a tissue pocket or ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: